Let me tell you one thing: I have no idea exactly what I want in life, I don’t know what I want to do in my future life.
You may see me as a young woman who had figured things out, well-traveled, pretty well in achieving her dreams which kinda like an high achiever slash ambitious person, and any other things that you could think of. Well, I won’t say those are not true, but partially some of them are needed to be reconsider.
I haven’t figure anything out in my life, even though I travel a lot, I gain lots and lots insights about life, people, perspectives, I admit that there are quite some accomplishment that might other people’s dreams as well, but let me be blatantly honest here: the fundamental reason why I did that because I don’t know what I am looking for in my life.
When I was in junior school, I used to say that my dream is to be a politician, whenever they asked me to introduce myself, even I had no idea what politician was, it just sounds cool at that time. Then in high school I wanted to be a doctor because people say doctor is a cool and pretty well paid job which can bring you a financial security in the future. But turned out I ended up in engineering school just because I thought informatics engineering would be an easy major since I had been exposed to computer since I was in junior high school, and because I got a free pass to enter the engineering school in the most prominent university in my city. And since I got my place secured, I took the national uni entrance exam for granted. I applied for another engineering school in Bandung (that famous one) and medical school in the other well-known public uni in Jakarta (yes, that yellow one). Half of the test I fall asleep, because again I took it for granted. I spent 4,5 years of my undergrad time did nothing but running my business, rather than be a good student and engineer. I failed as engineer. I don’t know how to code, I don’t understand any computer language, at all. But, somehow I managed to graduate with a quite well grade, 3,24 out of 4.00, even it took me 4,5 years whilst other of my friends finished it earlier.
For those who knew, I ran a business during my undergrad and it turned to be a quite profitable business. I managed to travel the world from that, I even brought my family couple of times for vacation, in Indonesia and overseas. It was one of the glorious moment in my life. I was on the top of my game. I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I even told people that I wanted to be one of the 50 richest women in Asia. Then I got an insight where I thought most successful people used to struggle a lot before they reach the point where they became successful person. So, I came to a conclusion that life was too easy at that time, how snob I was, I know. Hence, I left everything, I left the business with my team (at that time, the revenue of the business was more than 300milions per year, and I was still in undergrad, quite impressive I must admit), I left my family, I left my country and moved to Australia.
I started my new life in Australia with less than 300 AUD (got it by sold my iphone 5s) and a box of Indomie goreng. I wanted to start a new beginning with “nothing”. Long story short, Australia gave me a new perspective about life. It even made me to think and find a way to stay longer in Australia. I almost enroll to study hospitality or anything that could help me stay for good in Australia. No more entrepreneurship thingy.
Then, I applied for a volunteering program and after long consideration, I decided to go back to Indonesia and do the program for a year in West Papua. The desire to be an entrepreneur is still there, but reality bites. I am no longer a young girl who used to be a fearless one I guess, I need to figure life out. I was 23 at that time and I’ve been longing to study overseas, there was the decision to apply scholarship came from. I applied to couple scholarship scheme, and as you know I ended up as a Chevening Scholar and did my master in the UK. What major? Innovation and Entrepreneurship. So, am I finally decided that entrepreneur is the for good path to walk on? Nope!
Yes I managed to created Tenoon and some other businesses during my stay in the UK, the spirit is there, it is indeed growing because the environment I might say, but turned out there is another part of myself that longing to be like other people. I know, human, never content with what they have. I want to know how does it feel to work in a big or established company, there where I finally landed at Bukalapak, yet I still have no clear vision about what I want to do actually in my life.
I tried lots of things yet still can’t figure things out. Life is indeed a complicated puzzle, especially when you’re getting older, have responsibilities or more responsibilities. For the record, I am one of those sandwich generation as well, I have mouths to feed. Having a safety net like working in company is such a comforting situation at some point, but when I am thinking about my kids (businesses) I feel sorry for them and for myself for not being 100% committed in taking care of them. If I could be honest, maybe because I am afraid. Being an early stage entrepreneur is full of risk, you can measure the risk, but the older you get the scarier it is, especially when other people’s life depends on you. On the other side, having a stable job with a stable income is not a bad choice at all, but I must admit there is something missing.
So what’s now or what’s next? I have no idea actually, seriously. Will I stay in Bukalapak or jump in 100% in my businesses or move to other choice(s), I have no idea. Even at this moment, I am thinking to try a consulting or big corporate life, just because I got a chance to be a part of Deloitte here in the U.S.
Yes, I am that girl, who try everything because she can’t figure out thing(s) she actually want to do in her life.